PH economic gains cited as growth targets increase

Published December 17, 2021, 2:28 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Malacañang has trumpeted the indicators of the Philippines’ strong economic performance amid its recent successes against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

(Shivendu Shukla/ Unsplash)

In a recent virtual press conference, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles reported the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) adjustment of the Philippines’ growth target for 2021 to 5.5 percent from its previous forecast of 4 tp 5 percent.

“This comes after our strong performance in the third quarter and the significant decline in the number of COVID-19 cases as a result of our accelerated vaccination drive,” noted Nograles.

“They say, and I quote, ‘As we continuously relaxed restrictions and increase mobility, economic performance is expected to accelerate further in the last quarter of the year,'” he said of the DBCC.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DOF), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) comprise the DBCC, which determines the overall economic targets, expenditure levels and budget of the government.

Nograles also bared that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised its economic outlook for the Philippines in 2021 and 2022. According to the Asian Development Bank Outlook 2021, the Philippines is expected to grow by 5.1 percent in 2021 and 6 percent in 2022.

“The ADB says, and I quote, ‘Growth momentum has clearly picked up on the back of the government’s vigorous drive to vaccinate Filipinos against the COVID-19 virus,'” he said.

Nograles, who doubles as spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), further highlighted that a number of economists from the private sector have upgraded the Philippines economic growth outlook for 2021.

He said these include Goldman Sachs Economics Research, ang S&P Global Ratings, Pantheon Macroeconomics, Fitch Solutions, Capital Economics Asia and DBS Group Research.

The entire Philippines is set to remain under the classification of alert level 2 for the rest of the year. Alert level 2 is the second most lenient classification under the Alert Level System (ALS) for COVID-19 response.

The relaxed protocols have given local businesses the leeway to operate at larger capacities, as well as allow vaccinated Filipinos the most freedom of movement they’ve had since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.